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Sandra Parker, M.D., named chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the USA College of Medicine

Sandra Parker, M.D., new chair of psychiatry at the USA College of Medicine, served as vice-chair and associate professor of the department from January 2009 until July 2021.

Published Aug 27th, 2021

By Casandra Andrews

Sandra Parker, M.D., chief medical officer for AltaPointe Health, has been named chair of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.

Parker served as vice-chair and associate professor of the department from January 2009 until July 2021. Ronald Franks, M.D., the former chairman, retired this summer after a career that spanned more than 40 years. Prior to 2009, Parker served in various faculty and adjunct faculty positions at USA’s College of Medicine beginning in 2001.

“Dr. Parker is a skilled physician and educator whose knowledge and passion make her an excellent fit to lead the Department of Psychiatry,” said John Marymont, M.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs and dean of the USA College of Medicine. “With two decades of experience in academic medicine, I’m confident she will continue to build upon the foundation of exceptional patient care and student education our program provides.”

Parker attended medical school and completed residency training in psychiatry at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. She completed a fellowship in child/adolescent psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for the Health Sciences in Little Rock.

She has received numerous honors and awards. Parker is president of the Alabama Psychiatric Physicians Association and past president of the Mobile Bay Psychiatric Association. In 2017, she received the Martha Myers Role Model Award given by the University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association. In 2015, she was recognized as an Inspirational Physician Honoree of the American Medical Association, Women’s Physician Section. For her work in coordinating care for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, she was the 2012 recipient of the Bruno Lima Award, an honor given by the American Psychiatric Association to recognize outstanding efforts of members who contribute to the care and understanding of victims of disasters.

Three times -- in 2015, 2016 and 2018 --- USA medical students have awarded Parker the Red Sash Award, which is given to faculty members who students say have had the most meaningful impact on their medical education.

"It's an honor to transition into this new role with the USA College of Medicine,” Parker said. “Through collaboration with AltaPointe Health, our faculty remains committed to providing outstanding clinical care to our patients and a superior education to our psychiatry residents and students.”

Dual certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in adult psychiatry and child/adolescent psychiatry, Parker’s major psychiatric interests are in the fields of autism-related disorders, healthcare disparities and tele-psychiatry.

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